Fates Warning were quite active last years, especially for Progressive Metal band: in 2013 Darkness In A Different Light was released after a gap of nine years. Three years later the band releases Theories Of Flight and two live albums. And in the end of 2020 Fates Warning release their new longplay named Long Day Good Night.
However, such activity can be explained by concentration of all the band’s members on Fates Warning, putting their other projects aside. Guitarist Jim Matheous and vocalist Ray Adler started to work on the songs for a new, 13th album in the middle of 2019; this number emphasized in a different ways also – with the number of the songs and even album’s total time (00:72:22). Fun fact: when the time has come to record the music, Ray Adler, who lives in Spain, used to sneak into the studio and literally sleep there for a couple of days because of lockdown in the country. Nevertheless, the band made everything in time and the album will be released just as musicians planned.
Long Day Good Night became a long and very diverse album. Musically it is Progressive Metal, obviously, but there are melody and songwriting on the first place, then the lyrics and only then its techniques (which all musicians have, undoubtedly).
The album opens with slow, atmospheric “The Destination Onward”. This song leisurely unfolds before the listener, immersing him into a little bit dark atmosphere but in the middle the pace becomes faster, drums get heavier and here comes a beautiful melody. The great mixture of clean and heavy guitars appears here for the first time but it will be heard almost in every song further.
“Shuttered World” starts with Progressive Metal and continues with catchy chorus and Bobby Jarzombek’s potent drumming. The second half of “The Way Home” can be also considered as Progressive Metal, while the first one sounds more like Art Rock – Pink Floyd or Yes, more specifically.
“Alone We Walk” in its turn sounds more like Heavy Metal with some great atmosphere (but the drums, bass and vocal line are more inherent to Prog through). Ray Adler’s magnificent work is worth to mention here also: his powerful voice emphasizes emotions greatly. Dynamic “Scars” has a heavy sound as well, transforming into Power or even Speed Metal sometimes, while the chorus even has some 90s Alternative vibes, as for me. Nevertheless, this song is a solid piece, without some sharp turns and changes, with some kind of Oriental passage in the end. “Now Comes The Rain” deceptively sounds as simple 80s Hard Rock, in a vein of Europe and Def Leppard; back vocals from bassist Joey Vera can be also heard in Melodic chorus. Bobby’s drums patterns are also interesting here: it seems like he wants to get faster but he used to hold it back.
What I wasn’t expecting from this album is a Blues/Southern Rock in “Begin Again” intro, which turns into quite heavy Southern Metal later (while the chorus it too melodic for this genre, as for me). The longest and the most diverse song in Long Day Good Night, “The Long Shadow Of The Day” also starts from some blues bass solo. Then the music gets gradually heavy, turning into Progressive Metal, where every musician have a place to shine. But after five minutes everything fades, leaving only sad guitar finger-picking – and here comes the vocal with melodic solo, which reminded me of Brian May’s playing. The main motive changes a couple of times further with the vocal line, the music almost goes Doom from time to time and the song ends with technical solo.
There are also some “ballads” in the album: sad “Under The Sun” with some string instruments, melancholic “When Snow Falls” with beautiful keyboards and great melody and the ending “The Last Song”, where the whole spectrum of emotions transmitted only with acoustic guitars and vocal.
If I was asked to describe this album in one word, I’d say “impressive”. Fates Warning managed to mix a lot of genres here and in the end it became an endlessly interesting, multi-layered and very atmospheric piece of art, where lots of people will find something that will touch them. Even people that quite far from Progressive Metal like me.
Long Day Good Night will be released on November, 6 via Metal Blade Records.
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